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More national essay competition success for Canfordians

Academic Enrichment

Hot on the heels of the news of Alice Hazell’s success in the recent Newnham College, Cambridge essay competition are further successes from more of our talented pupils.

Emma Jeffries has won second prize in this year’s Richard III Society competition following her submission answering the question: “How accurate was Shakespeare’s depiction of Richard III?”  The Society exists to promote research into the life and times of Richard III and Emma’s writing won praise from the judges: “The essay deploys an extensive range of different type of sources used, including pictures in the text and demonstrated a good understanding of the period, the sources and the historians. It was structured coherently by looking at the relevant victims and themes in the play. The essay is well-written and well-supported with relevant references. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are faultless. There is an excellent level of accurate factual information, supported by clear analysis and evaluation. with a clear conclusion offering a convincing judgement.”

Emma was awarded a year’s free student membership of the Richard III Society, £100 and a choice of book by Matthew Lewis for the Canford library.

The New College of Humanities, founded by the eminent Professor AC Grayling, aims ‘to foster the talents and capacities of individual minds, empowering them ‘to see things steadily and see them whole’, and to think with acuity and intelligence’. Each year the College runs essay competitions in a series of different categories and in 2021 two Canfordians were selected as finalists from over 6,000 entries from Sixth Formers across the globe. Jake McMillan’s submission for the Law category, entitled “When, if ever, should one be criminally liable for infecting another person with a disease?” discussed the very current complex area of law surrounding criminal liability for infecting a person with a disease and the difficulty of proving causation. Harry Young’s essay for the Politics category entitled “Is democracy experiencing a setback worldwide?” drew similar praise from the judges with a finalist award.  The latest Democracy Index recorded by the Economist Intelligence Unit was the lowest global democracy score of 5.44/10 since the index began in 2006 and in his submission Harry explained why democracy is experiencing this setback from two fronts: the spread of authoritarianism and the failure of established democracies to lead by example and counter this threat.

Both Jake and Harry received medals and certificates for their efforts and NCH hopes to run an in-person event in London in the Autumn to give the finalists the chance to meet the judging panel.

Harry has already won a Highly Commended award from Minds Underground in May for his essay “Is austerity ever necessary?” and has submitted a second Economics essay this time for the prestigious John Locke Institute Global Essay Competition, which encourages “young people to cultivate the characteristics that turn good students into great writers: independent thought, depth of knowledge, clear reasoning, critical analysis and persuasive style.”  Harry’s essay, entitled “Should we abolish the minimum wage?”  discussed the impact of abolishing the NMW, analysed within the context of three closely-linked macroeconomic objectives crucial to labour market regulation: reducing unemployment; alleviating poverty and exploitation of workers; and reducing income inequality.  He will hear the outcome of his entry in the coming weeks.

Headmaster Ben Vessey commented:

Developing minds beyond the confines of the curriculum is a cornerstone of our intellectual enrichment programme.  Expressing thoughts through the power of essay writing, constructing an argument and conducting research are all skills which are extremely valuable both in higher education and in the world of work and we encourage our pupils to enter these external competitions judged by some of the sharpest critical thinkers across the globe.  This latest success is also clear demonstration of one of the school’s four key values, that of purposeful engagement where we seek to build a confident mindset to develop positive life-long learning and inspire pupils to be curious and determined in pursuit of knowledge and opportunity.  Alice, Harry, Jake and Emma have certainly displayed this here and I am delighted for them that they have achieved such impressive recognition for their hard work.”

To read the essays please visit the Canford Blog page.